Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#1594 of 3742 Reply to # 1562:
Apr 16, 2003 (9:19 am)
I used to own a 1992 Mazda Protege LX with a 1.8 litre DOHC engine. I experienced the problem with the spark plug wires suddenly when the car had about 52K miles. No prior problems, just sudden stumbling on light acceleration one day. I was warned by the dealer that these cars need spark plug wire replacement every 60K miles or so due to extreme heat generated in the spark plug wells between the cams. No engine light came on during this incident. Replaced the plug wires and spark plugs, distrigutor cap and rotor, and the car ran perfect.
Apr 16, 2003 (9:33 am)
According to my manual (2001 LX 2.0), it says to replace the spark plugs at 48 000 km (30 000 miles). That's normal wear and should be expected.
#1596 of 3742 Plug wires ...
Apr 17, 2003 (4:57 am)
I too used to own a 1992 LX, and now I own a 2000 ES and a 2002 P5. My '92 also experienced the wire problem -- at 34,000 miles. I replaced the wires on the 2000 at 30,000 miles.
The wires go through the top of the head and down into the block. After a while they start to break down (from heat and moisture) and start to short from the wires to the metal tunnels surrounding them inside the cylinder head. And just like the guy said, there's no warning. I'd just driven to my girlfriend's house to pick her up, and it started when I got back out to the car and restarted it. I sputtered to the dealer thinking I was in big trouble, but he installed a set of wires right there in the drive-up bay and I was on my way for about 60 bucks.
I recommend replacing the wires along with the plugs every 30,000 miles. Don't have my manual right in front of me right now, but I thought the manual recommended this interval too.
Apr 17, 2003 (8:46 am)
my Protege was averaging 28 mpg (city driving), and this last tank gave me 31 mpg. That would represent a 10% improvement on gas consumption just from the wires.
Also, thanks for the info on ignition parts. I think I'll go with Beck-Arnley, as a friend of mine can get them cheap from a part store here in town.
#1598 of 3742 1999 Protege ES 5-speed Update
Apr 17, 2003 (9:25 am)
I haven't posted here in about 1 1/2 years so I thought I'd give an update now. The Protege used to be my car, bought it new in 1999, but now my wife drives it most of the time. I now drive a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT and love it - not knocking the Protege though!
Our 1999 Protege ES 5-speed (last year for 1.8 liter DOHC engine) is doing very well at 78,000 miles! Outside of regular maintenance, the only issue we have had (besides a freaky broken water pump fin at 5,000 miles-replaced under warranty) was having to replace the alternator at 68,000 miles. Even better is the fact that we did not have to replace the ORIGINAL front brake pads until 72,000 miles! And the original rear brake pads are still in fairly decent condition.
My only depressing thought, after reading some of the previous posts about timing belt replacement, is that we had the timing belt replaced at 75,000 miles, as the Mazada dealer told us he had seen several Proteges come into his shop with broken timing belts (and destroyed engines, of course) at only 65,000 miles. Now I feel he was simply trying to make a service sale and it has me very mad! The timing belt replacement cost around $400, which was money we did not really have.
So, for anyone living in the Nashville, TN area, I would avoid the service department at the Mazda dealership in Franklin, TN, as I feel they cannot be trusted.
We plan to keep this Protege (I had a previous 1992 model that was flawless) for quite some time!
Apr 17, 2003 (9:28 am)
The Proteges have non-interference engines, meaning if the belt breaks, the engine won't go with it. Sounds like they were screwing with you.
Apr 17, 2003 (10:04 am)
Long time no talk to. Remember me?
Very interesting post. My 2000 ES has 53,500 miles on it, and it too is still on its original brakes! You just made my day; maybe there IS hope that the brakes will pass state inspection next month after all. I've been meaning to pull off a wheel and check them, but frankly I've been scared to look!
I usually try to arrange having my timing belt replaced at the same time I do a major service where I plan to replace all of the belts. It's the labor that makes it so darned expensive. I remember one year, while in college, I told my dad I wanted a timing belt (for my Hyundai, by the way) for Christmas. He didn't understand and actually went out and BOUGHT the belt and wrapped it! Upon opening I said to myself, "gee, thanks a lot for the $45 belt" and then went off to find the 250 extra bucks I needed to pay for the labor. Thanks Dad ...
I also owned a 1992 LX (two of them, actually) and it was running like the proverbial top at 83,000 miles when I (stupidly) got rid of it. I'm hoping my 2000 does at least as well as yours. BTW, how much did the alternator replacement set you back?
Apr 17, 2003 (10:10 am)
>>>Sounds like they were screwing with you.<<<
sound like??.....THEY DID SCREW HIM.....
Apr 17, 2003 (10:22 am)
"I would avoid the service department at the Mazda dealership in Franklin, TN"
Funny - That is where Mazda American Finance is located, or least where I send my payments.
Apr 17, 2003 (11:33 am)
We have something in common. Your comment just made me check ... yes, my wife's payment goes to Mazda American Credit at that address too. (I'm the bill payer in the family.)
Nice -- my Protege's financed at a local bank. I make drive-thru payments (or sometimes while grocery shopping since they're teamed up with the city's most popular supermarket chain) and save a stamp, and my payment never gets delayed by snail mail! Heck, I even got a free interest checking account and free checks when I got the loan!
(I could opt for direct withdrawal from my account, making the whole payment thing totally transparent, but I don't like people's electronic hands in my electronic pockets. Besides, I enjoy the "countdown to zero" feeling I get each time I tear off one of those payment coupons. Only 26 to go ...)